Utilising agricultural tariff rate quotas as a development instrument
Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) were introduced as a new market access instrument in the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture. The purpose of this paper is to examine the case for using this instrument to target improved market access for developing country agricultural exports, using the EU as a case study. The paper first identifies how TRQs relate to the EU's hierarchy of agricultural trade preferences under various preferential access arrangements. It then examines the extent to which developing countries have been able to make use of existing TRQ access to the EU market. Developing countries wanting improved market access for their agricultural exports have the choice of negotiating lower MFN tariffs, entering free trade agreements or regional integration schemes, seeking improved preferential access under Generalised System of Preferences schemes, or pressing for the introduction of preferential TRQs under the GATT's special and differential treatment provisions. The final section of the paper discusses the merits and drawbacks of each of these strategies.
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